“Congratulations are in order for your President. He is a wise man,” mentioned the Roman Pontiff after the meeting, which exceeded by far the regular duration of the fifteen-minute meetings held with heads of states or governments.
Upon his intentions to visit Greece, Pope Francis replied that this is something he would like, adding that the Greek President also addressed him an open invitation.
“I had a very interesting and cordial meeting with the head of the Catholic Church. We discussed issues of common interest and matters dealing with our region and the districts,” said Papoulias in his remarks following the meeting with Pope Francis and the State Secretary of the Vatican City, Pietro Parolin.
“I think Pope Francis is an enlightened head of the Catholic Church with great social sensitivity, which is also found in his speeches. I think he is a Pope of peace, humanity and solidarity,” added the Greek President.
When asked about the meeting, Papoulias confirmed that the atmosphere was very cordial, while saying that the two men also talked about the Pope’s childhood.
Karolos Papoulias gave Pope Francis a book on the “Glow of the Orthodox Church,” while the Pope gave Papoulias a small bronze “angel of peace who prevails over evil” and a book of his apostolic speeches.